Over the past decade, social media has become an incredibly powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. If you’re a small business owner, it can be easy to feel skeptical about what social media can do for you, but it’s a great way to get exposure for your business and connect with your audience and potential consumers. It can also be another marketing tool to bring attention to all the hard work you’re putting into your business.
By not being on social media, you could be missing out on countless opportunities to connect and engage with your audience or maybe reach an entirely new one. Over the years, businesses have taken advantage of the fact that billions of consumers are active on social media. With that being said, getting started on social media is no small task and can feel daunting if you’re starting from scratch. Below we’re sharing some reasons why social media is worthwhile if you’re a small business owner as well as some tips to get started!
Why You Should Be on Social Media
There are currently 4.59 billion active social media users today. What makes social media unique is that there are endless opportunities for small businesses to tap into this large customer base. Even if you don’t think so, your target audience is likely active on at least one social media channel, opening up a whole new group of potential customers. With many businesses already taking advantage of this opportunity, you need to get ahead of your competition through social media. Here are some other great reasons to consider when thinking about social media as being a part of your strategic plan:
- Create brand awareness — A poll found that 83% of Instagram users discover new brands while on the app. Being on various social platforms is an easy way to get new customers to learn about your business. It also provides a great opportunity to share your brand’s message or goals.
- Bring attention to your website — If users like the content you create, they can easily access your website. Promoting website content that resonates well with your followers and is engaging can help increase website traffic.
- Communicate directly with your customers — Being active on various social platforms can provide an interface where you can interact with your customers directly, respond to their feedback, and gain more insight about your target customers.
- Increase revenue — Having an online presence can also allow customers to visit your site through the platforms your business uses. Online sales are expected to make up 22% of all sales globally by next year.
- Build credibility — Social media allows your audience to know how great your product or service is by featuring real customer experiences. Not only can you share quotes and testimonials, but the platforms allow others to comment and share their personal experiences as well.
How to Get Started
If you want your business to have a social media presence, it is key to understand which platforms are best for you. However, if you’re a small business just getting started, any form of social media is good social media. A great tip to keep in mind is to start posting wherever you’re most comfortable until you get the hang of how you want to use social media in your marketing strategy. You should also make sure you’re keeping in mind your target audience as well as the typical audience of each platform.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are popular places to start. However, the audiences of each platform are different. For example, LinkedIn is more professional and would be better if the target audience you are trying to reach is active in the business community. Facebook and Instagram are more consumer-driven, so you would have better luck on these platforms if you want to target a wide range of consumers.
After joining these sites, try and grow your audience through strategies like paid ads, boosted posts, or follower campaigns. Social media apps have caught on to businesses’ use of social media for marketing purposes and have made it an easier interface for businesses to grow. It’s also important to ensure your profiles are fully built out and a backlog of content is posted so that when potential new followers visit the pages they can get an idea of your product and the types of messaging you are trying to convey.
Best Practices to Consider
Once you find a social media site that you like, aligns with your values, or is popular among your target audience, you should think about creating a strategy to get the best results possible. However, remember that social media etiquette on your personal account may not apply to your business account. Personal touches are a great addition to any business account, but keep in mind that too much personal information can distract customers from your business’s great products or services. In addition to adding too much personal information to your business accounts, business owners should beware of common social media mistakes many fall into when first getting started. Keep reading to learn about some important tips to keep in mind:
- Social media is a volume game — Try to generate one post daily per social media platform you partake in. It can seem like too much at first, but this is the best way for your business to be seen. Make sure you are doing your research and posting at the best possible time to reach a wider audience
- Let your brand’s personality show through — Do not be fake or try to make your brand appear perfect. Users respond better to the documentation of your real business and like hearing from real people who have used your products.
- Avoid common mistakes — Not engaging with users, forgetting to use tags, or posting inconsistently or about old, dated content are easy mistakes to make when getting started. Make sure to stay on top of your game and avoid these pitfalls.
- Use imagery and engaging video content — Make your posts eye-catching and attractive through images and videos. Be sure to only include images and videos that enhance your message and are not distracting.
- Don’t forget the hashtags! — Hashtags allow your content to easily be found by the audience you’re targeting. They let social media algorithms or users quickly learn what topic or category your content falls under.
Social media can seem scary when you don’t have the right tips and tools to help you. Following best practices and knowing your target audience allows you to make the most of social media. There is a whole world of opportunities online, don’t let your business down by not being on social media!